PlayUSA projection

Super Bowl LVI expected to generate $1B in legal bets, doubling last year's handle

SoFi Stadium in California, home of Super Bowl LVI.
Reading time 2:58 min

Super Bowl LVI could lead to the US generating about $1 billion in legal bets, according to projections by PlayUSA released on Wednesday. The network, which provides news and analysis of the US gaming industry, believes that if sportsbooks reach those estimates, it would roughly double last year’s estimated Super Bowl handle of more than $500 million.

PlayUSA believes that American sports bettors could place the record-setting handle at both legal online and retail sportsbooks across the country, with 30 states now offering the option to do so in some way. The $1 billion in handle is a product “of the continued proliferation” of legal sports betting in the country.

"$1 billion in legal wagering on a single game would be an impressive milestone for the industry," said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for "It would have seemed impossible just a few years ago to reach such heights, but with the expansion of sports betting over the last year it is inevitable that legal wagering will soar."

To be held on February 13, the new edition will find the Los Angeles Rams meeting the Cincinnati Bengals. The Super Bowl has long been the most-wagered-on single sporting event in the country and, in 2021, the American Gaming Association (AGA), the national trade group for the U.S. casino industry, estimated that Americans bet $4.3 billion on Super Bowl LV, both legally and illegally.

Meanwhile, PlayUSA estimates that more than $500 million was wagered at legal online or retail sportsbooks for last year’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, “a small chunk” of the more than $50 billion in legal wagers placed across the US throughout 2021.

More than 166.9 million people will be able to place legal bets during the next Super Bowl edition, across 30 states and Washington DC, which have all legalized the market in some form. The number is significantly up from the 120 million people allowed to place legal bets in 21 jurisdictions for last year’s edition.

The new Super Bowl edition will see Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming joining the action, with all states having launched legal wagering since the 2021 edition. Meanwhile, Ohio expects to launch over the year, and California debates legalization.

However, the most significant addition to the growing list of states which now offer legal sports wagering is New York which, until last year, was limited to retail betting. Since January 8, mobile sports gaming has been legalized in the Empire State, which has consistently broken handle and participation records ever since.

New York has already become the fastest state in the nation to break the $1 billion sports betting handle mark in just three weeks with $1.1 billion in bets, surpassing the prior record, set by Arizona in October. But the state is also positioned to shatter the record for monthly handle, set by New Jersey in October with $1.3 billion in bets.

"The sports betting landscape has changed dramatically since last year's game," said Eric Ramsey, data analyst for PlayUSA. "More than half of all Americans now live in a legal jurisdiction, and even well-established markets such as New Jersey and Nevada have grown significantly over the last year as mobile betting gains in popularity."

The network projects that Nevada, which was the second-largest market in 2021 and has typically been the top market for Super Bowl, will produce the largest handle with $175 million. The state would be closely followed by New York, which could generate about $160 million in bets.

If those estimates come to fruition, that would be more betting volume than every legal sportsbook in the U.S. combined to tally for the 2019 game, says PlayUSA. New Jersey ($130 million), Illinois ($75 million), Pennsylvania ($70 million), Arizona ($55 million), Michigan ($45 million), Indiana ($40 million), Colorado ($35 million) Louisiana ($35 million), Virginia ($35 million), and Tennessee ($30 million) will follow Nevada and New York, according to estimates.

"Americans have become increasingly comfortable with online betting in general and the less conventional bets it facilitates, such as in-game wagering," Ramsey said. "This should really help boost Super Bowl betting, which for years has enticed bettors with fun prop bets and other unconventional wagers. The big difference this year is those types of bets are easier than ever to make in more places than ever before."

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